Prepping for the Holidays

Preparing your home for the holidays and for house guests can be a daunting task, lucky for you we’ve come up with a handy checklist to help you get your household in order. Click here for a printable PDF and here to watch Carpe Diem’s Wendy Clark share holiday tips with NBC-17’s My Carolina Today.

Prepping for the Holidays | Carpe Diem CleaningGeneral Housekeeping Tips

Cover your bases!

Carpets: If carpets have obvious stains, have them cleaned before guests arrive. If carpets are in good shape, wait until after the holidays so you can start the new year with clean carpets (we can help – that’s right folks, we clean carpets too!)

Nightlights: Place nightlights in the rooms that guests will be using.

Sidewalk Salt: Have salt on hand for your driveway and sidewalks in case there’s some unexpected icy weather.

Prepping for the Holidays | Carpe Diem CleaningHospitality

Happy house guests make for a happy holiday – make sure everyone is comfortable!

Sleep Areas: Vacuum sofa beds and sofas, making sure all surfaces inside and out are clean. Put clean sheets and blankets on beds.

Towels & Toilet Paper: Make sure that items like bath towels and toilet paper are available and easy to find.

Personal Care Kits: Create care kits containing little soaps and toothpastes, pain reliever, and allergy pills if you have pets.

Prepping for the Holidays | Carpe Diem CleaningKitchen

Be prepared and let no guest go hungry!

Food: Clean out your fridge and pantry, then stock up on some basic foods in addition to your holiday meal shopping. Show your house guests what foods are available if they get hungry. If you have a guest with food allergies, make sure your buy foods which are appropriate for them.

Food Storage: Buy some basic plastic containers or Ziploc bags so you can easily give out leftovers after parties and meals. These will also help for storing extra holiday food if you have a shortage of containers.

Labeling: Make sure you have a Sharpie (or multiple Sharpies) handy for labeling and dating leftovers.

Prepping for the Holidays | Carpe Diem CleaningChildproof

A word to the wise: always childproof your home BEFORE visiting children arrive.

Electrical Outlets: Make sure you have covers for all of your electrical outlets.

No Tinsel: Do not decorate with tinsel as it is a choking hazard both for children and for pets.

Baby Gate: Get your old baby gate out of the closet if there is an area that you would like to partition off from little people (or pets).

Don’t forget that we offer house cleaning services for Chapel Hill residents! Contact us for a free estimate today!

Meal Planning 101

Meal Planning 101 | Carpe Diem CleaningDo you feel like you’re never ready to hear those three dreaded words, “What’s for dinner?” Meal planning can give you peace during dinnertime instead of feeling stressed trying to figure out what to feed your family!

Having a plan doesn’t mean that you can never deviate from it, but it does make it easier to avoid going out to eat or getting take-out when you haven’t planned on doing so.  Ready to start meal planning but don’t know what to tackle first?  We’ll give you the lowdown on how to make a meal plan that your family will love!

 Meal Planning 101 | Carpe Diem CleaningCheck your Schedule

Meal planning is a habit that takes more time up front but will drastically save you and your family time and money in the long run.  We’re all about people living their life with intention.  If you know what you’re going to eat each night, that you’ve planned in advance where and what you’re going to eat!

First sit down with your calendar to determine what your plans are for dinnertime each night.  If you have a family get-together or a date night, then you can assign minimal food or no food to the meal plan for that night.  Once you know how many nights you would like to eat at home, you can decide which nights you need a quick and easy meal and which nights you have more time to spend in the kitchen.

Keep it Simple

On nights when you have less time to spend in the kitchen, plan to put dinner in the slow cooker in the morning or to use the grill to have dinner ready in a flash without the hassle of a ton of clean up.  On nights when you have more time to spend in the kitchen, make the most of your time by doubling or tripling recipes so that you have leftovers for the next night or for lunch the next day!

Meal Planning 101 | Carpe Diem CleaningGet Inspired

Once you know what kind of recipes you’ll need, you can look in your pantry, freezer and refrigerator for inspiration.  Is there a piece of meat in your freezer that you’ve been meaning to cook?  Is there a new grain in your pantry that you’ve been wanting to try? is the perfect place to look for recipes with ingredients that you already have in your kitchen.  Check out a few reviews before making a recipe for the first time.  Chances are, you’ll be able to make it even better!

Not sure if your kids and/or partner will like the meals that you’ve picked out?  Get them involved!  Meal planning doesn’t have to fall on one person in the family.  Your favorite people will be more likely to eat food that they’ve asked to eat, after all. ;-)

Meal Planning 101 | Carpe Diem CleaningMake it Happen!

Once you have your meal plan for the week, make a grocery list and shop for everything you’ll need for that week.  Post your meal plan for the week somewhere that will help you to remember what you’re eating each night.  Whether you post a written note on the fridge or schedule reminders into your Google Calendar, find a system that works for you and your family!

That’s it!  Once you make a meal plan and buy groceries, you’re ready to tackle the week ahead because you’ve taken the uncertainty out of family dinners.  Want to get even farther ahead on dinners for the week?  Go ahead and make note of when you need to defrost food.  If you can chop veggies or trim meat ahead of time that will make weeknights even easier!

Need a little extra help managing your home responsibilities?  We offer cleaning services in Chapel Hill!  Contact us today for a free consultation!

Closed for Labor Day + Get $20 Off a Deep Cleaning When You Schedule a Carpet Cleaning!

We will be closed for Labor Day on Monday, September 4th!  Be sure to contact your branch manager to reschedule your cleaning for another day.


Deep Cleaning + Carpet Cleaning Special Get $20 Off a Deep Cleaning When You Schedule a Carpet Cleaning! | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Are your carpets looking dingy after tracking dirt in the house this spring?  Start your back to school season off with clean carpets and a clean house, courtesy of Carpe Diem!  Until September 15th, get $20 off a deep cleaning when you schedule a carpet cleaning! Go ahead and download our Carpet Cleaning Checklist to get things started.

You can give us a call 919-682-5326, or shoot us an email to schedule your carpet cleaning in Durham, Raleigh, Cary or Chapel Hill today!